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Circle of Competence Issue #37

Quote for the week: "Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing" - Benjamin Franklin


A Fool's Wisdom

Last Friday, I had the pleasure of meeting one of the founders of Motley Fool, David Gardner, after his speech at the Wilberforce Conference at UNC Chapel Hill. I wanted to share the main points of his talk on wisdom.

1. The joy of gain is infinitely greater than pain of loss over the long run. Your downside is only 1X, but your upside is unlimited (in life and in the markets). The rub is avoiding the -1X disasters and holding on long enough to experience the multibaggers.

2. Life is a cooperative game, not a competitive game. Over the long run it’s better to cooperate (and innovate) rather than compete (economically and socially and otherwise).

3. Judge yourself by your results and others by their intentions. Too often we judge ourselves by our intentions (not a high enough bar) and others merely by their results (judgmental and double standard).

4. Take the long view and be a rational optimist. The future belongs to those who can take lemons and turn it into lemonade.

5. Avoid the 'fool with a hammer' syndrome (i.e. everything looks like a nail to a fool with a hammer). Discernment for the right tool for your situation (e.g. when to leap with faith or hesitate with skepticism) is the beginning of wisdom.

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